- The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI) released a report claiming Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched artillery strikes on several locations in the mountains surrounding Urmia last week. The KDPI report also addressed the Iranian regime’s deployment of large numbers of troops in the region.
- The Iranian regime continued its ongoing crackdown on Kurdish political activity, as Iranian intelligence officers (Ettela’at) and security forces arrested three Kurds from Marivan on Wednesday named Salah Pourkaiwan, Aras Qadiri, and Mohsen Rassi and a fourth named Ismail Rast on Friday. Iranian security forces also arrested an 18-year-old named Poya Bostani on Thursday and a Kurdish man named Mohammed Azar in Piranshahr on Monday. Likewise, Iranian authorities arrested three Kurds in Kermanshah Province’s Songor District. Additionally, the IRGC arrested nine Kurds on Tuesday and Thursday in Paveh (Pawa) and accused them of attacking IRGC personnel. That said, local human rights groups claimed the IRGC actually detained the Kurds over their refusal to hand over cattle during a raid on November 6. Finally, three Kurdish activists named Hamed Shiekhi, Nabi Malawaisi, and Ayoub Kakakhani began serving one-year prison sentences for “membership of a Kurdish opposition party.”
- The Council of Representatives of Iraq (CRI) passed an emergency spending bill to address the country’s economic crisis on Wednesday, though Iraq’s Kurdish parties boycotted the vote over a clause introduced by the Sunni and Shiite blocs that demanded the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) hand over all its domestic income and revenue from oil exports in exchange for the salaries of its employees. The Kurdish parties went on to describe the measure, which would decrease the KRG’s monthly income from $764 million to $293 million, as “extremely disappointing” and “a stab in the back of the people of Kurdistan.” The KRG will now send a delegation to Baghdad to discuss the 2021 budget bill with the Government of Iraq (GOI).
- Turkey’s military incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan continued with Turkish warplanes striking several locations near Sangasar. Turkey’s ongoing operations, which it claims are intended to combat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), have killed dozens of civilians and displaced thousands.
- Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) arrested two ISIS (Da’esh) terrorists in a raid near Kirkuk Governorate’s Hawija District’s Rashad sub-district on Sunday. That said, Da’esh maintains an increased operational tempo in the “Disputed Territories,” as Da’esh snipers killed an Iraqi police officer and wounded two more northeast of Diyala Governorate’s Jawala (Golala) city last week.
- The Turkish military and its proxies continued to launch indirect fire attacks on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)-controlled areas of Ain Essa, Zarakan town, Giri Spi (Tal Abyad), and Halab Governorate’s al Shahba. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the SDF and Turkish proxies engaged in several intense firefights in al Shahba and carried out several infiltration operations that resulted in casualties on both sides. Meanwhile, northeastern Syria’s Kurds’ fears of a new Turkish invasion were stoked by news of potential US withdrawals from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. The SOHR released a video showing a large US convoy moving from al Hasakah Governorate to Iraqi Kurdistan, but there has been no confirmation of any US plan to withdraw from Syria.
- Turkey and Russia continued to carry out sporadic joint military patrols in the SDF-held areas along the Turkish border near Kobane and Darbasiyah, which lie along the Turkish-Syrian border. Both nations also agreed to remove the SDF from the above-mentioned areas. On another note, US Deputy Special Envoy for Syria David Brownstein met with SDF General Commander Mazloum Abdi on Sunday.
- The SDF announced it captured three Da’esh members in Jadeed Ekeda, Shadadi, and Al Hawl during “joint security operations” with the US-led coalition. That said, Da’esh terrorists killed two SDF members in Deir Ez Zor’s Azba village last week.
- The Turkish government continued its crackdown on Kurdish political activity despite the severe economic crises and coronavirus pandemic gripping the nation. Last Tuesday, Turkish police arrested a senior member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) named Murat Aydin in Bingöl Province. Concurrently, Turkish authorities detained five Kurds in Diyarbakir (Amed) Province’s Sur District on Friday, including the former mayor, Cemal Ozdemir, who was removed and replaced with a government trustee. Moreover, Turkish police raided numerous homes in Van Province’s Özalp District and detained 10 Kurds, some of whom were HDP members. Turkish police also arrested two HDP members in Erzurum Province’s Horasan District on Thursday and a senior HDP member named Naci Kızıler in Kahramanmaras (Maras). Simultaneously, a Turkish court in Mardin sentenced the previously removed mayor of Derik District, Abdulkarim Erdem, to 95 months in prison for “membership of a terrorist organization” and issued similar sentences to six more Kurds.